V-Twin
Outcast wrote:
Hmmm, this is an interesting development....

Exiting the Australian industry

Supplier Polaris has confirmed it will stop selling quad bikes and All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) in the Australian market this year...


...Polaris Australia and New Zealand managing director Alan Collins said the decision was largely due to changes in sales.

"The market is moving very quickly from ATV to side-by-side products anyway," he said...”

https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2020-03-16/quad-bike-polaris-exit-australian-industry/12053336


In my opinion, the news of Polaris Australia exiting our market will mark the end of the Indian Motorcycles in Australia. That is a big call, and it is not what I want to hear, let alone say it out loud. I just can’t see an alternative outcome. It may not happen immediately, but the history will point to this moment as the turning point. This is my analysis, and I would appreciate your perspective. I hope your outlook is more favourable than mine.


As you may know, the majority of the revenue for Polaris Australia is generated from their quad-bikes - our farmers love ‘em! Our beloved Indian Motorcycle division is a tiny blip on their spreadsheet.


After achieving 734 unit sales for the first full year of trading in 2015, Indian Motorcycle sales in Australia remained pretty flat - hovering between 640 and 836 units, with an average sales of 756 units per year). So, despite the fancy dealerships in four capital cities and the financial backing of the head office, sales didn’t grow in 5 years.  


As corporate-owned dealerships close their doors, we are yet to see the “independent franchised network of dealers” coming on board. All we have is the Motorcycle Holdings, the parent company of Motorcycle Accessories Supermarket (mcas.com.au) so far. They are best known for selling volume items like helmets and jackets. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t own motorcycle dealerships selling brand new motorcycles. However, they do sell some pre-loved bikes, on-the-side. Can you see yourself buying a $40,000 motorcycle from an accessory store?


Even, if well respected, independent motorcycle dealers took on the franchise. Indian Motorcycles are unlikely to break the sales record, especially with the falling Aussie dollars and the forthcoming economic Armageddon. We can’t all work from home. Some of us will be fortunate enough to have employers who will continue to pay us. But many will not be so lucky. Think of casual workers and self-employed people. The number of people who can spare $40,000 on a toy will diminish significantly. The crazy weather that is shortening our riding season doesn’t help either.


Polaris Australia avoided a stockpile of Indian parts and accessories inventory. That is why it takes a long time to get your bike repaired. Most of the delay is waiting for parts to arrive in the country. So how hard will it be to empty the HQ? Sell off all the motorcycles in the warehouse, retrench the staff and hand back the keys to the real estate agent.


The Victory brand disappeared because it wasn’t making enough money. Polaris is not a charity organisation. If they can’t see a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, what’s stopping them from pulling out of the country altogether - for quad-bikes and Indian Motorcycles?  What's holding them back?
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
Quote 2 1
DAVO
 Polaris is going to stop selling quad bikes only  as are the Jap brands in OZ, they will all still be selling side by sides in Australia , Polaris is not leaving the OZ market.  
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Fransvdm
In Australia we are used to holding someone else responsible rather than take responsibility ourselves. I'm not surprised.
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Phil
Sorry V-twin, you are incorrect. Scare mongering and wild speculation such as your post  will have more of an effect on Indian sales then anything else. The two issues are totally unrelated. The quad bike issue has been brewing for years thanks to over zealous government know it all and Polaris is simply being proactive to clear stock. This will only help Indian as Polaris will refocus on Indian and SXS in Australia. As an Indian dealer and Polaris dealer I more than confident in the future.
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V-Twin
EAGLEPS wrote:
Sorry V-twin, you are incorrect. Scare mongering and wild speculation such as your post  will have more of an effect on Indian sales then anything else. The two issues are totally unrelated. The quad bike issue has been brewing for years thanks to over zealous government know it all and Polaris is simply being proactive to clear stock. This will only help Indian as Polaris will refocus on Indian and SXS in Australia. As an Indian dealer and Polaris dealer I more than confident in the future.


I do hope that you are right.  That Challenger is growing on me... just a little.  
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Outcast
Okay, you want positive...

I love my Indian Motorcycle, truly I do & I really hope the brand stays available in Australia because, when I've worn this one out I'd like to buy another one!!

Now for some realism...

Indian (Polaris) share of the market is extremely small when compared with other brands!

ATV's formed a large (if not the majority) part of the Polaris's sales activity in Australia & due to bureaucratic idiots making decisions regarding the 'factory' fitting of roll bars, Polaris has chosen to withdraw it's ATV product from the market!

Please explain to me what other products Polaris market in Australia & a percentage of the market they hold & why you believe it would make perfect 'business' sense to stay in Australia if, & I repeat if your overall market here is extremely small?

V-Twin has posted his opinion of what he believes might happen; I don't necessarily share his opinion however, time will indeed tell!!

Afterall, no-one expected GM to pull Holden from the Australian market either....

And again, just to be positive for everyone... & I'm sure V-Twin feels the same way, hopefully Indian are most definitely here to stay... but, ask yourself this...

What would you do if you were Polaris & a significant (if not the majority) of your market in a country just disappeared because of stupid, bureaucratic interference??

Please... change our minds with some factual, business minded argument, Please... I implore you...

Quote 1 0
Outcast
V-Twin wrote:



As corporate-owned dealerships close their doors, we are yet to see the “independent franchised network of dealers” coming on board. All we have is the Motorcycle Holdings, the parent company of Motorcycle Accessories Supermarket (mcas.com.au) so far. They are best known for selling volume items like helmets and jackets. To the best of my knowledge, they don’t own motorcycle dealerships selling brand new motorcycles. However, they do sell some pre-loved bikes, on-the-side. Can you see yourself buying a $40,000 motorcycle from an accessory store?


I will correct you here V-Twin, Motorcycle Holdings are way, way more than just MCAS as can be seen here...

https://www.mcholdings.com.au/page-1003/

48 franchises operated from 31 dealership and 8 retail accessory locations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory.

You'll have to join Linkedin to read the rest of this... I'm no longer a member...

MotorCycle Holdings is the parent company for TeamMoto Motorcycles, Ultimate Motorbikes, Morgan & Wacker Harley-Davidson, Morgan & Wacker BMW, Gold Coast Harley-Davidson, Sunshine Coast Harley-Davidson, Sy's Harley-Davidson, Canberra Harley-Davidson, Central Coast Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Riding School, Advanced ...

So, as you can see they are a pretty solid dealership network to handover Indian to.... the future of the Indian Motorcycle brand in Australia may well be much brighter than you think...
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V-Twin
Outcast wrote:
So, as you can see they are a pretty solid dealership network to handover Indian to.... the future of the Indian Motorcycle brand in Australia may well be much brighter than you think...
I was hoping someone can enlighten me.  The beauty of forum like ours, we get to discuss the topic and learn from one another.  So, perhaps we wouldn't have to see poor little Indians selling out of MCAS stores hey?  😆

They own HD and BMW dealerships?  I particularly liked this (from their website) "MotorCycle Holdings sells 8 of the top 10 selling motorcycle brands in Australia (by number of new motorcycle sales)". I guess they are no strangers to setting up single-brand dealerships like Harley-Davidson.  I wonder if they will do the same for Indian?  That will be nice.

Outcast wrote:
I'm sure V-Twin feels the same way, hopefully Indian are most definitely here to stay...
I sure do.  My old man use to ride an Indian in the late-40s or early-50s.  I wish I can find the photo again.  He did tell me some stories about his bike, so there is a connection for me (even, if that is only in my head). If I seem a little hard on the brand at times, it is because I want Indian to do better - bit of a tough love.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Outcast
V-Twin wrote:
I was hoping someone can enlighten me. The beauty of forum like ours, we get to discuss the topic and learn from one another. So, perhaps we wouldn't have to see poor little Indians selling out of MCAS stores hey? 😆

They own HD and BMW dealerships? I particularly liked this (from their website) "MotorCycle Holdings sells 8 of the top 10 selling motorcycle brands in Australia (by number of new motorcycle sales)". I guess they are no strangers to setting up single-brand dealerships like Harley-Davidson. I wonder if they will do the same for Indian? That will be nice.


See, I am a little concerned... not worried, just a little concerned....

Polaris do seem to be sending out some rather mixed messages which, as a consumer are a little challenging to interpret...

On one hand, I am not concerned that Indian are doing away with corporately owned dealerships. No other brand operates this model in the motorcycle world in Australia nor anywhere else in the world so, that decision does make sense. Also, when you dig in to who they are signing dealership contracts with, at least on the East coast, the future looks very bright...

Then, they announce that the parent company is pulling out of the quad bike & ATV market in Australia due to stupid, bureaucratic interference (the insistence of factory fitted roll bars), along with Honda to do similar in 2021.

So... what is one supposed to think?

I don't know what Polaris's market share or predicted future market share in the Side by Side (SXS) market is... I don't know what all of this means in terms of the viability of Polaris within Australia... so... perhaps someone with some inside knowledge of these figures can provide information that is somewhat more reassuring than the mixed messages coming out of Polaris Australia thus far.....

It's not hard to see why some folk might be 'a little concerned', 'worried' or, 'speculating of doom & gloom'... hopefully Polaris themselves or an independant dealer can provide us with some insight as to how viable Polaris is or will be in the future market place within Australia rather than just jumping in with a throw away comment about how negative people are...
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Phil
Look the timing is not great all round. One model we and Polaris Australia were hopeful of stepping up with the demise of the ATV here was the ACE single seater. Unfortunately based on poor sales in the USA it was also discontinued. All this happened at the same time and yes I get it doesn’t look good from he outside. ATV sales have been in decline for years, we were actually the first Polaris dealer to sell more SXS machines in a year than ATVs. The ratio is easily 4 SXS to 1 ATV now.....that’s where Polaris see the future in Ag models, hence they made the decision first to pull out of ATVs, all the rest will soon follow. What does this mean for Indian?  We too sell other brands, but we are investing just as heavily in Indian as those brands. I hope that gives owners enough inside info to appreciate, Indian is not going anywhere but UP in Oz. Now lets get out and ride, praise the brand, move with the times and help us build the brand and see you in Silvo.
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Outcast
EAGLEPS wrote:
Look the timing is not great all round. One model we and Polaris Australia were hopeful of stepping up with the demise of the ATV here was the ACE single seater. Unfortunately based on poor sales in the USA it was also discontinued. All this happened at the same time and yes I get it doesn’t look good from he outside. ATV sales have been in decline for years, we were actually the first Polaris dealer to sell more SXS machines in a year than ATVs. The ratio is easily 4 SXS to 1 ATV now.....that’s where Polaris see the future in Ag models, hence they made the decision first to pull out of ATVs, all the rest will soon follow. What does this mean for Indian?  We too sell other brands, but we are investing just as heavily in Indian as those brands. I hope that gives owners enough inside info to appreciate, Indian is not going anywhere but UP in Oz. Now lets get out and ride, praise the brand, move with the times and help us build the brand and see you in Silvo.


Thanks EaglePS, appreciate that as a dealer you cannot go into immense detail but, the insight you have provided into the sales ratio between SXS & ATV does, for me provide encouraging news.

When you read into who are taking the Indian dealership contracts up on the East Coast at least, it also looks promising for the Indian brand... despite the fact that many only seem to see some connection with MCAS & have freaked out, it took me maybe 30 seconds to establish that Motorcycle Holdings are in fact a big player in the new & used Motorcycle dealer game of which, MCAS is a tiny, wee part of...

Living in Cairns, with my nearest Indian Dealer nearly 400km south of me in Townsville, I am actually hopefull that the dealership changes might one day result in us having a somewhat more local dealer through the local TeamMoto dealership... I will guess that will depend upon the success Motorcycle Holdings have with the brand... success will hopefully breed a desire to expand the dealership network further & since they already have a site up here.. one can but hope... 🙂

I for one, love my Indian... way more than I loved any of my 4 previously owned Harley's.. & I sing it's praises to anyone who will listen as well as to many who probably don't... my one & only gripe would be the price of their accessories & parts... but, there are ways & means around that with a growing supply & market for aftermarket parts...

Anyways... CUN Silvo... looking forward to both the ride & catching up with more of the tribe...
Quote 0 0
David
I'm interested in the various views and feel it is important not to attack people for their views / opinions.
Over time I have found this forum able to host robust debate on many subjects with divergent views (such as clacking, oils, tyres, location for Indian world record attempt and even V-Twin's secret love of lambs wool etc) without the need to resort to censorship or individuals resorting to personal insults. The ability / willingness / comfort level of individuals to put their opinions on all manner of topics is of great importance / benefit to Indian Motorcycle community and Polaris if they choose to listen. Clearly Polaris have made a commercial decision in removing company owned stores. Clearly a significant number of Australian consumers are concerned as to Polaris commitment to Indian in Australia and not convinced by Polaris public statements / strategy.  Time will tell as to who is correct but what an opportunity for Polaris to gauge the mood/ concern and act to reassure their consumers and protect / enhance their brand in Australia?
2017 Indian Springfield
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Phil
Another question I did not answer properly was why would POLARIS now stay in Oz. As a country dealer it’s easy for us to forget city owners would not be aware of the fact POLARIS are actually No.1 in Oz in the Ag market. They outsell Honda, Yamaha, Can am and have done so for the last 4 years in a row for ATV/SXS. In fact I am pretty sure POLARIS is actually No.6 or 7 in the overall sales market above Triumph even.  Polaris leaving Oz would be like Toyota leaving. Rest assured, give it time, the changes will be all positive for owners if we don’t all catch a cold.
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V-Twin
David wrote:
...and even V-Twin's secret love of lambs wool
I cannot believe you took us there!!  🙄🐑 🐑 🐑 😆
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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Croc
Dang it!  I wrote a reply to this, even mentioned V's love of sheepskin (that's HIS business) and pretty sure it all got lost!  Stoopid Interweb thingy!
Anyhoo, just said that the Polaris Dealer in Alice Springs did naff all for me when I wanted something done to the Indian.  Wouldn't go anywhere near it (the mechanic had a different idea...) so it was a long ride to Darwin.  Still looking for someone in the Perth area, hope Springs eternal!   (just not Alice Springs.. hehe)
I'm Not Completely Useless . .
I Can Be Used As A Bad Example!

Kwinana W.A.

Ulysses   #48275
IMRG      #100932
Quote 0 0
crash
At the end of the day the business is going to do what is good for the business.
The Australian market is tiny by world standards and as such would be more of a pain in the arse than anything else for them.

If they had a choice of investing in the Indian (continent not bike) market or the Australian market they would naturally choose the Indian market.  This is sheer volume which equates to $$$ on the bottom line (just using that as an example).

I was thinking "why would they invest in Australia?"
1. wages are comparatively higher than most countries in the world (for the regular employee)
2. penalty rates make working outside of normal business hours prohibitive.
3. we give employees 4 weeks annual leave.
4. we give employees 12 days sick leave.
5. we give employees additional time as parental leave.
6. we give employees additional time as personal leave.
7. employees don't want to work outside of business hours (if at all)
8. rent is extremely high for premises (for retail and wholesale)
9. everyone involved wants to "clip the ticket"
10. lets not forget the public holidays.

So the cost of doing business in Australia is becoming cost prohibitive and the price of the goods have to reflect this.
What we are seeing is (in some cases) that Polaris have to increase the retail value of the goods so that they can cover these costs.
So, if the business wants to reach their particular market to sell goods, they have to be flexible (yet the workforce isn't and if they were it is going to cost a lot more), they have to have a stockpile of goods to service the customers (yet the premises cost a fortune to store it), they have to be competitive in price (with the costs of doing business this erodes their profit considering the costs they have to incur).  And this is for what? 800 bikes per year (maybe) - if this is indicative of the ATV market this would also be pretty sad (don't have any ATV figures so can't comment)

If we were to consider the same for say India.
1. wages are a lot lower.
2. penalty rates are relatively non existent.
3. annual leave is negotiable (if at all)
4. minimal sick leave (if at all)
5. parental leave is non existent.
6. personal leave is non existent.
7. employees will work when they are told to.
8. rent is cheap.
9. they can build a manufacturing plant for next to nothing and not have anyone "clip the ticket".
10. minimal public holidays

So the cost of doing business in India is a lot more attractive and their population is significantly greater so would produce a higher yield overall.  Putting all these things together means an increased profit for the business.

If I were to be making the business decisions for Polaris and looked at these figures, I am not so sure I would be investing in Australia either.

Not saying that it is right, but looking at the situation from the other side of the fence - pulling out of Australia (on paper) is not a particularly bad decision financially.  

If you then look at the performance of our lovely dollar on the world stage, it is worth 60c American.  Meaning that what they sell in America for $600USD would be $980 AUD.  And that is before the additional costs incurred with doing business (which would probably add another 20% to the price).  So Australians look on the internet and see that the product is selling for $600 in the US and see that it is selling in Aus for $1100 ($980 + 20%) and then bitch, moan and complain that it is too expensive heading for a cheaper option imported from china, Thailand or India.

if it were my business I am not so sure I would invest in the smaller Australian market.

Having said all that,
I have my own business in Australia.
I am heavily invested in the Australian market.
I am employing people from Australia to do Australian work. 
I am renting space to run my business from.
I am encountering all of the challenges mentioned above.
But my clients are supporting my business and my efforts to keep my business in Australia (and for that I thank them all).  
I am not going to go out and buy a rolls royce any time soon but we are keeping our head above water.

Why am I tell you this?  because we have all stood behind the Polaris product by buying our goods from them (just as my clients have done for my business) and we trust them to continue to provide a service to us whilst we have their goods.  This is what keeps them in Australia but to ensure that this continues we have to keep buying from them to demonstrate that it is a commercially viable exercise.  If we don't then they will surely adjust their business model to yield a higher profit from elsewhere (regardless of whether we are talking Indian or ATV machines).  

None of the Polaris executives are going to get fat on the profits from Australia.

Bearing in mind that this is only "my opinion".


Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
Quote 1 0
Dr.Shifty
It's interesting to see Polaris taking this view when putting protection on a quadbike is not such a difficult engineering process.

And to suggest that having safety regulations for one component of their product line will make them abandon everything is not well thought out.

[brand-poster-5e5c44afbc759]
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
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Dr.Shifty
This is my local Polaris dealer - also Indian, BMW, Kawasaki, Suzuki, Royal Enfield, almost everything else.

Check out how many of these things have roll-over protection. And you tell me that they can't fit something to the whole lot?

https://www.brisans.com.au/powersports/new-powersports-newcastle/polaris-vehicles-newcastle#
Cheers, Kim.

From Woodrising (no, nobody else has heard of it either)
Rides a Springfield Dark Horse
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Phil
Its not that it cant be done......the issue is it cant be proven to be 100% successful anywhere in the world from an engineering perspective.....hence leaving the manufacturer/retailer at the mercy of the legal fraternity when someone still dies with one fitted. And it has happened. We have seen accidents caused by the fitment of these aftermarket ATV roll over devices. Nothing is bulletproof if there is no grey matter between the ears.
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Croc
Crash, nice write up.  Business will do what is best for business.  Bike enthusiasts will still buy & ride the bike they want and, in my experience, out of production bikes or hard to get parts will still be purchased.  On the bright side, if it does go all sideways, we'll have distinctive bikes to ride that aren't easy to obtain!
(Burgati of bikes??  hm, did I spell that correctly??  you get my drift...)
I'm Not Completely Useless . .
I Can Be Used As A Bad Example!

Kwinana W.A.

Ulysses   #48275
IMRG      #100932
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Richard Dixon
Quad bike are going because of the new OH&S concerns relating to possibility of quad bike roll over prevention .... and Polaris do not want to change manufacturing for such a small market demand (Australian standards) …. 
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Damich
"THE END OF INDIAN MOTORCYCLES IN AUSTRALIA"

Why are we putting negative headlines on an Indian Motorcycle forum page.......................sorry but i think the media at the moment are doing a very good job at this and with all the terrible scenarios around us at the moment, personally I'd like to see some positive headlines for a change!!!!!!
I'm really over negativity.
Damian
North East Melb
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V-Twin
Damich wrote:
"THE END OF INDIAN MOTORCYCLES IN AUSTRALIA"

Why are we putting negative headlines on an Indian Motorcycle forum page......
My topic heading is a question, not a statement.

I was concerned and wanted to chat about it with fellow Indian owners.  I understand now that quad-bikes are only a small part of Polaris business in AU and that their Side-by-Side (SXS) will continue in Australia.  So, I am not worried about Polaris pulling out of AU due to discontinuing quad-bikes.  It seems, a few other members were concerned too.

However, your comment seems to be driven by the impact of C-19.  No doubt, it will be rough for several months, but I am confident that we will come through the other side stronger.  So, until we can ride in big groups again, take care Damich.
Let's be kind to one another.
Melbourne, Victoria
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crash
Damich wrote:
"THE END OF INDIAN MOTORCYCLES IN AUSTRALIA"

Why are we putting negative headlines on an Indian Motorcycle forum page.......................sorry but i think the media at the moment are doing a very good job at this and with all the terrible scenarios around us at the moment, personally I'd like to see some positive headlines for a change!!!!!!
I'm really over negativity.


100% agree - title changed to reflect the subject.
Ulysses #30673
IMRG #AU100394
Current: RoadMaster (ebony and ivory)
Highett Victoria Australia
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